Key findings of the inventory

  • New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were 82.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e).
  • Gross emissions in 2019 comprised 46 per cent carbon dioxide, 42 per cent methane, 10 per cent nitrous oxide and 2 per cent fluorinated gases.
  • Between 1990 and 2019, gross emissions increased by 26 per cent (17.2 Mt CO2-e). This increase is mostly due to increases in methane from dairy cattle digestive systems and carbon dioxide from road transport.
  • The Agriculture and Energy sectors were the two largest contributors to New Zealand's gross emissions in 2019, at 48 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively.
  • New Zealand's net emissions in 2019 were 54.9 Mt CO₂-e. Between 1990 and 2019, net emissions increased by 34 per cent (13.8 Mt CO2-e), due to the underlying increase in gross emissions.
  • The Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector offset 33 per cent (-27.4 Mt CO2-e) of New Zealand's gross emissions in 2019.
  • Since 1990, net removals from the LULUCF sector have increased by 14 per cent (3.4 Mt CO2e) largely due to:
    • improved forest genetics and management practices over time leading to increased carbon storage in plantation forests
    • rapid expansion of afforestation in the 1990s
    • an increase in the production of harvested wood products.
  • Trends between 2018 and 2019
    • Gross emissions increased by 2 per cent (1.7 Mt CO2-e)
    • gross emissions increased by 2 per cent (1.7 Mt CO2-e)
    • net emissions also increased by 2 per cent (1.1 Mt CO2-e)
    • both changes are mainly due to increases in emissions from manufacturing and construction, and public electricity and heat production.

Figure 2: Gross greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 by sector, sub-category and gas type

MFE AoG 19876 KW Greenhouse Gas Snapshot Donut Graph 300dpi
Breakdown of emissions by sector (Agriculture, Energy, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), and Waste), and sub-category, and greenhouse gas by type. The emissions contribution from Tokelau is too small to be included in the figure.

Long text description of 

Figure 2 is a nested pie chart that shows a breakdown of New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions by sector, sub-category and gas type in 2019. Emissions and gases are represented in percentages. In particular, the inner pie chart shows:

  • The Agriculture sector was responsible for 48.1 per cent of gross emissions.
  • The Energy sector was responsible for 41.6 per cent of gross emissions.
  • The Industrial Processes and Product Use sector was responsible for 6.2 per cent of gross emissions- The Waste sector was responsible for 4.0 per cent of gross emissions.
  • The emissions contribution from Tokelau at 0.005% of gross emissions was too small to be included in the figure.

The outer pie chart shows:

  • Within the Agriculture sector, dairy cattle made up 22.4 per cent of gross emissions. Sheep made up 11.7 per cent, and beef cattle made up 8.5 per cent of gross emissions, while 5.5 per cent of gross emissions from the Agriculture sector came from other sources.
  • Within the Energy sector, transport made up 19.7 per cent of gross emissions. Manufacturing and construction made up 9.3 per cent, electricity generation made up 5.1 per cent, and fugitive emissions made up 2.1 per cent of gross emissions. Other energy sources made up 5.5 per cent of gross emissions.

An external ring extends from the Agriculture section of the outer pie chart. This ring describes the greenhouse gas type attributed to Agriculture sub-categories.

In particular, it shows:

  • For dairy cattle, 18.7 per cent of gross emissions were methane, and 3.7 per cent of gross emissions were nitrous oxide.
  • For sheep, 10.5 per cent of gross emissions were methane, and 1.2 per cent of gross emissions were nitrous oxide.
  • For beef cattle, 7.3 per cent of gross emissions were methane, and 1.2 per cent of gross emissions were nitrous oxide.

A separate external ring extends from the Energy section of the outer pie chart. This ring further divides the sub-category of transport. It shows:

  • Road transport made up 17.8 per cent of gross emissions.
  • 1.9 per cent of gross emissions came from other transport sources in the Energy sector.